Feed your body
First reason some people struggle with gaining muscle and mass is that they consume an insufficient amount of food. You must consume more calories than you burn throughout the day. This surplus will use your body to repair and build muscle tissue. The easiest way to determine how many calories you need is to weigh yourself at least three times a week and record what you eat using a calorie tracking app. If your weight stays the same, the daily number of calories you eat is your maintenance calories — in other words, you’re not losing or gaining weight, but maintaining it.
Never go longer than four hours without eating
If you’re active and train hard, you likely burn a lot of calories each day. It’s very difficult to eat clean foods that replace all the energy you’ve spent in just three meals. By eating at least once every four hours, you keep your body in an anabolic (muscle-building) state.
While most individuals still eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they also eat a number of high-protein snacks as well.
Consume enough healthy fats
If you are struggling to get in enough calories due to not being able to eat enough, fats can be a great source of extra calories. A gram of fat yields 9 calories, versus the 4 calories per gram that carbohydrates or protein contain. So fats have over twice the caloric content.
Make sure as much of your daily fat intake as possible comes from fats high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Foods and oils containing these fats include avocados, olive oil, nuts, natural nut butters, seeds, and oily fish such as salmon and mackerel can help you with gaining muscle.
Sleep at least eight hours per night
When you sleep, your body is in a resting state that burns far fewer calories than when you’re up and about and doing things. Sleep is also the time when your body can devote a lot more energy to repairing damaged muscle tissue.
Another key benefit of sleeping enough is that during sleep, your body releases growth hormone, which can help aid in recovery. Missing out on eight hours of sleep can leave you feeling foggy, lethargic, irritable, and possibly even depressed.
Decrease the training volume, increase the intensity
Other very common mistakes made by people who are trying to gain weight include:
- Performing way too many sets per workout
- Not using a weight that truly challenges their bodies
- Resting too long between sets
If you’re in the gym for longer than an hour and 15 minutes, you’re either doing way too many sets or resting way too long between sets. Correcting these problems can lead to increased muscle gaining and less time spent at the gym. Instead, you could be getting an extra meal or sleeping an extra hour.
Have at least one active-rest day per week
When you are in the gym, you are damaging and breaking down muscle tissue. It’s what you do outside of the gym that allows your body to repair the damage, and this in turn causes muscles to grow bigger and stronger. In light of this, taking at least one active-rest day per week would be good for your body. Not “off day” but the active-rest day. This could be light cardio or just stretching.
Find a training partner who can motivate you
Having a good training partner holds you accountable to your training schedule. You’re far more likely to go to the gym and put in your work when you know someone is relying on you to be there and train with them. No one wants to let a friend down, and that is exactly what you do when you skip out on a session with your partner.
Bodyclub team wish you happy New Year and keep working so hard in 2020 too.